For a more detailed study guide of Revelation go
Revelation Study Guide
Go to Here for a very simple explanation of where we are at in the revelation timeline and what is yet to come.
For a great chart and further explanations of the symbolism in both Daniel and John's visions of revelation go to here
A FREE printed copy of this book is available upon request to: email@example.com
Also see my pages at :
and Mark Finley's Discovery in Prophecy series at
http://www.iiw.org/net96/ - each lesson is also posted on my website
under the "Discoveries in Prophecy" section under "Bible Lessons"
|The First Trumpet
||The Second Trumpet
||The Third Trumpet
||The Fourth Trumpet
||The Fifth Trumpet
||The Sixth Trumpet
||The Seventh Trumpet (Third
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev. 1:3)
These divinely authorised words of blessing were pronounced over nineteen hundred years ago and they were recorded for the benefit of the whole Christian Church in the Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Yet, sad to say, even at this critical period in earth's history, few believers really study the book of Revelation, let alone keep those things which are written therein.
Because the Revelation is considered by many to be a
closed book, a mystery book, a book of riddles and bewildering symbols which
cannot possibly be understood by the average believer. The result is, the book
is left unopened by the majority in the church.
Others, who profess to have studied its pages,
contend that the book is of little practical value to the committed Christian
awaiting the Secret Rapture. Why? Because most of the events it
foretells, they believe, are going to occur after the main body of the
church has been caught away to heaven. In other words, the book need not concern
true believers because they will not be on earth when the events it predicts
come to pass. References in the Revelation to God's people, they
maintain, concern the Jews and perhaps a few Gentile converts who have, for some
reason or the other, missed the Rapture. But it does not concern the
great multitude of believers from all over the world who acknowledge Jesus
Christ as their Saviour.
Believe it or not, these are the popular opinions
many Christians hold about the book of Revelation. And so widespread are their
views that multitudes of believers know little or nothing about this greatest of
Bible prophecies. But, are their opinions correct? Is the Revelation a mystery
book of little value to the Gentile believer today? Does it have a message for
you - for me?
The Stewarton Bible School considers it an
inestimable privilege to place this booklet in your hands; for we believe that
the message of the Revelation was given by the Almighty to His church to be
understood. And it is insulting God's sense of judgement to suggest that the
book cannot be understood. The very word 'revelation' means 'that
which is revealed, made plain or disclosed.' The title of the book 'The
Revelation,' in other words, is the very antithesis of mystery; so how
can anyone sensibly claim that it cannot be understood?
The book, we further, believe, has been given to the
church as a warning message; for God wants His people to prepare
themselves for the stormy future that lies ahead. For, believe it or not, the
church is not going to be secretly caught away to heaven before the Great
Tribulation. Any believer, therefore, who persistently ignores God's warning
message, is courting disaster!
On the other hand, those who diligently study the
book of Revelation, allowing the Scriptures to interpret themselves, will soon
understand the prophecy. To their amazement and delight they will come to find
that they are in possession of a spiritual survey map which charts
the future of humanity with awesome accuracy. Instead of the fear and
uncertainty which characterises the people of this world, they will have the
confidence and hope that belong to the enlightened people of God.
The book of Revelation is written mostly in symbolic language. This, admittedly, does seem daunting at first, but once the reader becomes acquainted with symbolic language and learns how to interpret it, by comparing scripture with scripture, the Revelation becomes a veritable storehouse of information about the future of mankind. A symbol is something which represents or stands for something else. Examples of symbols used in the Revelation are:
this symbol represents Jesus Christ the innocent Son of God. (Rev. 5:5-6,
this represents the light-bearing church of God. (Rev. 1:20)
this symbol represents righteousness. (Rev. 7:13-14, Rev. 19:7-8)
symbol of captivity.
||A sword: a
symbol of war.
||A crown: a
symbol of royal authority. etc.|
Symbolic language is used throughout the Bible but
more so in the prophetic books. The parables of Jesus are also good examples of
how symbolic or figurative language is used to illustrate and
explain spiritual realities. When interpreting the Revelation, therefore, it is
important to first establish if the language used is literal or symbolic,
or a mixture of both. Utmost caution should be exercised here; because if a
symbol is incorrectly taken in a literal sense, confusion will result.
Similarly, if a literal object or element is mistakenly treated as a symbol, an
equally warped picture of the future will emerge and the reader will not be
prepared for the reality of last day events when they occur.
Bear in mind also that the Revelation is a prophetic warning message given by the Almighty to the church so that all believers may prepare themselves for the final events due to occur on earth. For the plain truth is this, JEHOVAH (Yahweh) the God of Israel wants His people to be ready for the last days. He wants every member of His church to have a clear understanding of what is going to happen just before His Son YESHUA (Jesus) returns. He wants us all to know what He is doing and what He is going to allow Satan to do. The Almighty does not want us to be terrified of the future, but to be patiently confident amidst the total confusion which is going to reign when this present civilisation collapses in ruins about us. For even though Yahweh is going to protect His obedient followers in those difficult days, He still wants them to know about future events before they actually occur. The Revelation is, in short, another example of that divine trait whereby
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Yes, it is God's will that all His church know of the future; and not only that we know what to expect, but that we come into line with His will soon, so that we may be accounted worthy to escape punishment.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.(Luke 21:36)
Make no mistake, an understanding of the will of the Almighty God as outlined in the Revelation will be of utmost value and importance in the very last days. Indeed, your life and the lives of your family could well depend on it. Remaining wilfully ignorant is a fatal mistake. The Almighty says in Hosea 4:6.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee
Oh, how true that statement is going to prove with
this end-time generation; a generation woefully and wilfully ignorant of the
truth, yet so eager to believe any and everything but the Word of the Almighty
THE SEVEN CHURCHES
The Revelation begins with the prophet seeing a vision of Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) the Son of God, walking amidst seven candlesticks. A candlestick is a symbol of a church group from which the light of God's truth shines.
and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20)
Seven is the
number which represents wholeness, completeness and totality. The messages to
the seven churches therefore are for the whole church, the entire body of
believers, Jew and Gentile alike, in all ages. It is a mistake to think that
most of the messages to the seven churches apply to the church in past ages; or
that this or that church group is the Smyrna church, the Laodicean
church, the Philadelphian church etc. For the fact is that in every
church group in all ages, there were - and still are - individuals to whom one
or more of the seven messages apply.
You may be sure that even in your own congregation
there is the Laodicean believer who is in danger of being 'spewed out' by
God. There is also the Smyrna group who are enduring great suffering for their
Lord. There are those who classify themselves as 'Jews' (true
believers) but who are not; and there are those who have not denied the Master's
name. Yes, almost every type of believer is present in the average-sized church
group. This is as true in our day as it was in the past. The letters to the
seven churches, in other words, are for your church group and mine.
It is not the purpose of this booklet, however, to
explain the letters to the seven churches; because with prayerful study most
believers can arrive at a good understanding of those messages by themselves.
Instead, in this booklet our aim is to briefly outline and explain the prophecy
of the Seven Seals which is introduced in Revelation chapter four.
Revelation Chapter Four
This chapter begins with the prophet seeing a vision
of the Almighty seated on His throne. In Jehovah's (Yahweh's) right hand
the prophet sees a scroll which is sealed with seven seals. The only one in the
universe who is qualified to open the sealed scroll is Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus
Christ, the Son of the Living God). He is symbolised as the Lamb of God
(John 1:29). The heavenly hosts around the Almighty's throne rejoice at the fact
that at last someone has been found worthy to open the scroll and tell its
contents. From this we may infer that the angelic host are intensely eager to
learn about the future of those things which must shortly come to pass. Oh
that the church on earth would display a similar interest in the sealed scroll
and the future of humanity. It is true, multitudes are apparently interested in
the future, because great sums of money are spent each week by people who consult
witches, fortune tellers, astrologers and mystics of every shade and
type; but how few, by comparison, consult the Word of God or study the
prophecies in order to find out what the Almighty says about the future? How
We trust that when you have thoroughly studied this
booklet, you will have taken a great step forward in understanding what the real
future holds in store for humanity at large and for yourself in
particular. And though the knowledge of it may initially fill you with dread,
you may be sure that if you place your trust in the Almighty and do His will,
your fears will gradually give way to a growing sense of confidence, a
confidence that will stand you in good stead when the terrors of the last days
begin to occur in your neighbourhood.
THE FIRST SEAL
And I saw, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him and he went forth conquering and to conquer. (Rev. 6:2)
Here we are shown the first of the Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the White Horse. The rider on the
white horse carries a bow and goes forth conquering and to conquer. This means
that he is victorious and invincible; nothing can halt his advance. Before we
explain what the white horse represents, let us first draw the reader's
attention to the FIRST CLUE to understanding Bible prophecy. It is comparing
scripture with scripture: of letting the Bible interpret itself;
of searching for the meaning of one obscure passage in another part of the Bible
which describes the same subject or event in a simplified way.
It is perfectly obvious that there is only one
future, and it follows that no matter how many Bible prophecies there may be
concerning the future, they cannot contradict each other and still all be
correct. Therefore, if one prophet describes the future in symbolic language
in one book, and another tells of the same future in another part of the
scriptures in simple language, a comparison of one scripture with the
other will obviously direct us to the real meaning.
To help us understand the symbolic language
of the Revelation we will first consider another Bible prophecy describing the
same end-time scenes in simple language. The prophecy we will look
at is our Lord's famous Olivet prophecy recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke
21. In that prophecy the Master spoke of the end-time, the period in
earth's history which occurs just prior to his return to earth. The Olivet
prophecy is in plain language with a minimum of symbolic
references. The order of events in the Saviour's plain language prediction,
therefore, ought to be similar to those described in symbolic language
in the Revelation, for both prophecies deal with the same events in the last
days. When we examine the two prophecies side by side, that is exactly what we
find. One complements the other, explains and fills in details which the other
lacks: and together they provide us with a detailed picture of the world's
future as it will occur just before the Master returns to earth.
Using this method of allowing one scripture to interpret another, we find that the white horse of Revelation 6 corresponds with the Saviour's warning message in Matthew 24.4-5
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
This is plainly a WARNING message: Take heed! says the Master. The vast majority of Bible prophecies are in a sense warning messages, given by the Almighty to warn people of approaching punishment or danger. In order to warn effectively, a prophet must do at least two things:
|He must warn of error and its consequences.
||And he must point to the Truth and a way of
This is what the Master is doing in Matthew 24.4.
He is opening his truth-filled warning message with
the words 'Take heed!' and he closes by pointing to a way of
escape. The prophecy of the Seven Seals is no different; for, like the great
prophecy in Matthew 24, it begins with a truth-filled warning message
symbolised by the invincible rider on the white horse and goes on to
point to a way of escape.
The colour white represents purity and truth.
(Isaiah 1:18, Rev. 19:8) The rider on the white horse corresponds to the
Messiah's truth-filled, warning message of 'take heed' in Matthew
24.4. This rider symbolises God's Invincible Truth, which by its very
existence warns us to beware (take heed) of deception and
counterfeit in the church: the counterfeit baptism of the Holy
Spirit, the counterfeit Sabbaths being celebrated by believers,
the counterfeit messiah that is shortly to arrive on the world
scene and the counterfeit Bibles which are currently being foisted
on unsuspecting Christendom.
The rider on the white horse is even now galloping
across the globe and there is no power in the universe that can check his
advance. Yahweh's Truth is currently demolishing the strongholds of human
ignorance and error and there is scarcely a country on earth where the light of
the gospel has not begun to shine. People may, of course, choose not to believe
God's Truth, but there is absolutely no way any person or government can stop
its advance. Yes, the events under the first seal have already begun.
THE SECOND SEAL
And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (Rev. 6:4)
In this seal the symbolic language used is almost self explanatory. The rider on the red horse, we are told, was 'given a great sword' and power was given to him to 'take peace from the earth.' Clearly this rider represents bloodshed and war; for red is the colour of blood and a sword is the universally accepted symbol of war. And that is exactly how the Master put it when he followed his take heed warning with:
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (Matt. 24:7)
One doesn't need great spiritual insight to
recognise in this verse a picture of our day. Violence, bloodshed, revolution
and international turmoil are now commonplace and global war is a constant
threat. The world, it seems, is glutting itself on an ever-increasing diet of
violence, carnage and death; with each blood-bath being dwarfed by the enormity
of the next. Read any daily newspaper, switch to any radio or TV station and the
same, sad catalogue of violence and bloodshed fills the news. And always, above
and behind it all, there lurks that fearful spectre of a nuclear war
- a war which could
well nigh obliterate life from this planet.
What's more, all the efforts of world leaders, politicians, economists, scientists and even the theologians of all the faiths, cannot stem the tide of slaughter which is threatening to engulf mankind. Nothing, it seems, anyone can say or do can prevent the on-coming holocaust. Only the Almighty can stem this tide of evil which He so accurately predicted so long ago. Yes, there is little doubt, the second horseman of the Apocalypse, the rider on the red horse, like the white horse before him, is even now breaking into a gallop; and the thunder of his hoof beats can be heard around the world.
Power was given unto him to take peace from
the earth, said the divine messenger,
and oh how true those fearsome words have proved to be. Peace on earth is a
vanishing memory and war is taking its place. The prophet Jeremiah also
predicted war on a world-wide scale. (Jeremiah 25:15-38)
THE THIRD SEAL
Rev.6: 5: And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. 6: And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
From the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, we learn that a denarius
(translated 'penny' in this verse) was then the ordinary wage for a
day's work. (Matthew 20:2-13)
Here we are shown a symbolic picture of
hyper-inflation, crippling food shortages, rising prices and mass starvation!
The rider on the black horse represents famine -
world famine! when food prices for even the barest of life's necessities
will sky-rocket out of control. Can you imagine the world's economy so depressed
that a man would work all day for the price of a few loaves of
bread? I'm sure that not many of us can imagine this happening, even though
rising food prices are all too familiar. But, according to this prophecy,
runaway inflation coupled with frightening food shortages are due to occur in
the last days. Indeed, in many countries they have already arrived, Prices are
rising daily in all the markets of the world and there is very little anyone or
any government can do to stop them.
The rider on the black horse may not be moving at speed in the West, but I can assure you that in the East, in South America and Africa he is out there in the field and he is soon to break into an earthshaking gallop. Famines generally follow war. In this and the Olivet prophecy Yeshua the Saviour confirms this when he says:
Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom
against kingdom and there shall be famines. (Matthew
THE FOURTH SEAL
And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:8)
The colour of the fourth horse is given as deathly
pale or sickly, yellowish green. Again comparing the Revelation with the
Master's Olivet prophecy we find that the sickly pale horse symbolises pestilence:
deadly disease epidemics and plagues that so quickly lay low millions of
humans engulfed in war and famine. This is not to mention the agricultural
pestilence (pests) that periodically wreck havoc on our farms. When the pale
horse breaks into a gallop it will appear as though the finely tuned forces of
nature have become dislodged. Disease epidemics of all kinds will sweep across
the globe bringing death to millions of people, their cattle and their crops.
The severe food shortages pictured by the black horse will most certainly
exacerbate the problem of pestilence, as the world's population, weakened by war
and famine, struggles to keep alive. To be sure, the rider on the pale horse has
begun to ride and death is following closely at his heels.
SUMMARY OF THE FIRST FOUR SEALS
1) First, there is the white horse: the Almighty's truth-filled, warning message! which exposes the various spiritual counterfeits that abound in our day.
2) Second, there is the red horse: whose rider wields a great sword which symbolises violence, revolution, bloodshed and - war!
3) Third, there is the black horse: which pictures hyper-inflation, sky-rocketing food prices and mass starvation - famine!
4) And last of all, the sickly pale, yellowish-green
horse: which stands for disease epidemics and plagues on an international
scale - pestilence!.
WAR, FAMINE, PESTILENCE, that terrifying trio which invariably overtakes civilisations given to sin. Reading through the prophecies of the Bible one can hardly fail to recognise the fact that warnings rejected are always followed by war, famine and pestilence; for that is the Almighty's way of dealing with those who persistently ignore His truth and reject His commandments.
but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. (Jeremiah 14:12)
And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers. (Jeremiah 24:10)
The great prophet Jeremiah analysed the messages of all the prophets of God that had gone before him and summarised their work in these telling words:
The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. (Jeremiah 28:8)
Oh yes, divine warning is the opening theme of almost every Bible prophecy, and when rejected is always followed by war, famine and pestilence. But will mankind ever take heed and recognise this fact, that if warnings are rejected there always follows war, famine and pestilence? It is doubtful. People, it seems, are quite unable or unwilling to link national calamity with national sin. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have, nonetheless, begun to ride, and as described in Revelation 6:8:
Power was given them over a fourth part of the
earth to kill with sword with hunger and with death.
THE FIFTH SEAL
Rev.6: 9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11: And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Here we are shown religious persecutions involving two groups of martyrs; a) the early martyrs who were slain for their faith before the four horsemen had taken the field, and b) the end-time martyrs who are to be slain after the horsemen (war, famine, and pestilence) have begun to ride.
The Early Martyrs
These are the martyrs who died before the 20th century, died in their millions during the period known as the 'dark ages.' They died, we are told, 'for the Word of God' and 'for their testimony.' The blood of these martyrs has still not been avenged; nor are they rejoicing in heaven right now. Instead they were each given a white robe (accredited with the righteousness of Jesus) and told to rest, to wait for a little season till another great martyrdom took place.
The End-time Martyrs
These martyrs would be killed 'as they (the early martyrs) were.' In other words they would be martyred for the very same reason that the early martyrs died: that is, for the Word of God (the Bible) and their testimony. In short, the martyrdom under the fifth seal pictures an end-time martyrdom, a persecution of believers in our day! There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that in some countries this end-time persecution has already begun. But it is scheduled to intensify and will no doubt reach the free West in due course.
In his Olivet prophecy the Master also places this final martyrdom after the wars, famines and pestilence that are symbolised by the red, black and pale horses. He said this:
Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. 10: And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
The scene for this end-time persecution, which
culminates in the death of many leading believers, is already set. Satanic
forces are even now undermining the faith of many Christians in the real Word
of God and love within the brotherhood is fading away. Jealousy, hatred,
slander and outright rejection are all too common in the churches today and many
believers are giving up their faith altogether. Added to this sad reality is the
fact that the real Word of God, the genuine Bible, is being jettisoned in
favour of scores of counterfeit Bibles! Those who cling to the
real Word of God will soon be a target for persecution. See our article
entitled Bible Versions concerning this very serious matter.
Take warning dear reader that you are not deceived by Satan into rejecting the Word of God or into harbouring hatred in your heart towards fellow Christians; especially those who seek to do the Almighty's will. Because jealousy and slander are the stepping stones to betrayal; and betrayal is but one step away from a true believer's martyrdom. When that end-time tribulation arrives in your area it will test the faith of every believer almost to the point of destruction. But God in His infinite mercy has decreed that many will be saved through it all; be saved to stand in faultless splendour before the soul-searching gaze of the Almighty God!
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matt. 24:13)
That is, those who refuse to give up their faith in
the Almighty, even though they may be called to give up their lives for Him.
This end-time persecution is upon us, so do not be surprised when it starts in
your neighbourhood. We are happy to report, however, that not all the church is
scheduled for martyrdom. Many will be spared and be miraculously protected from
the onslaught of the Evil One. They will live unscathed through the very worst
Satan can do and will stand before God in faultless splendour in that last day.
This reassuring prospect will be looked at again when we examine Revelation
chapters 9, 12 and 13.
THE SIXTH SEAL
Rev.6: 12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 13: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14: And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15: And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16: And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Speaking of these same events in Matthew's gospel the Master said this:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (Matt. 24:29)
The prophet Joel writing of this same period wrote:
Joel 2: 30: And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
In the sixth seal the reader is given a preview of that same end-time celestial display. It will be witnessed throughout our galaxy. The language of these prophecies seems to indicate that besides their spiritual counterparts, these signs will also be literally fulfilled. In other words, the whole earth will be shaken to its very foundations; the literal mountains will heave and swell like the waves of the restless sea and every island will be shifted from its primeval moorings.
Jeremiah 4: 23: I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. 24: I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. 25: I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. 26: I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
Panic, blind, uncontrollable panic will sweep across
the globe when the events under the 6th seal occur. Earth's terror-stricken
inhabitants will incorrectly conclude that the universe is beginning to
disintegrate. The sun, we are told, will become black as sackcloth. It
will disappear for a short period of time and the moon will glow like
blood. Falling stars (meteorites) in their thousands will criss-cross
the sky and the heavens will be rolled back as a scroll. In that
day, every man, woman and child the world over will be filled with the fear of
the Almighty and nobody will then doubt his existence. Indeed, all mankind will
realise that the day of God's wrath has arrived. (Rev. 6:17)
The events under this seal have obviously not yet
happened. Admittedly there have been a few isolated instances in history when
unusually large numbers of meteorites have been sighted from certain parts of
the globe, or when the sun was darkened for a few hours; but it is forcing the
issue to suggest that those local happenings are the fulfilment of this awesome
6th seal, because they are not.
Why not? Simply because all the events under the 6th seal are to occur more or less at the same time, and will be witnessed by the entire population of the earth.
|The great earthquake
||The darkened sun
||The blood-red moon
||The dislodged mountains and islands
||The falling stars and the vanishing sky.|
All these signs happen concurrently and that has never happened before: nor has the world's population ever exhibited the kind of blind panic described in Revelation 6:16 when mankind en-mass cried out:
' hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.
Wait for the 6th seal. It is still future. When it occurs Yahweh's true followers will be galvanised into action. Gone forever will be their reticence in proclaiming the Gospel to the unconverted. Gone too their need to even convince people of the existence of God and His Son, the symbolic Lamb. For after the earthshaking events of the 6th seal, all the world will acknowledge the existence of the Almighty God and the prospect of the soon-coming Day of Judgement.
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?(Rev. 6:17)
Oh yes, the world's population will accept the fact
that the Messiah exists; but it will be an acceptance born of terror, not of
love. Nevertheless, it is part of the Almighty's plan to give mankind a final
opportunity to choose between right and wrong, between obedience and sin,
between the worship of Yahweh as specified in His commandments and the worship
of Satan which manifests itself in various human traditions. That final appeal,
that end-time work of inviting mankind to accept Yahweh's authority will reach
its climax immediately after the 6th seal, after the state of widespread
chaos and panic already described. It will be a unique message, a special
end-time work concentrating on one aspect of the Everlasting Gospel, the Seal
of the living God!
The unique message concerning the Seal of God is
programmed to go to all the world between the 6th and 7th seals. Indeed, its
importance can only be appreciated when one considers that the events of the 7th
seal are held up till that special message has reached the whole
world. In Revelation chapter 7 that unique, end-time message is introduced. We
will now turn our attention to that chapter and examine it carefully; not
forgetting that the 7th seal has still to be opened.
THE SEALING OF THE 144,000
Rev.7: 1: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2: And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3: Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. 4: And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
After reading this passage the first question that
comes to mind is: What is the Seal of God? According to the dictionary, a
seal is a legal instrument, a device that makes a ratifying impression on
wax or some other receptive substance to prove that it is genuine. The word 'seal'
in this context is synonymous with an owner's name, his signature, his sign,
his stamp, his brand or identification mark.
Yahweh's Seal, in other words, represents His name,
His signature, His stamp of ownership, the ratifying sign He seeks to place in
the foreheads of His followers. The forehead represents
the mind, the seat of a person's intellect, allegiance and faith. We are told in
this chapters 7 and 14 that 144,000 believer's will accept the Father's Seal or
Name in their foreheads. This means they will willingly accept
Yahweh's ratifying seal in their minds. They will believe it, remember it, bear
it in mind and be willing to live by it. Obviously they will be moved to this
high degree of acceptance by the Holy Spirit. But do not make the mistake of
supposing that the Holy Spirit is God's Seal, because He isn't. A believer is
sealed by the Holy Spirit with the Seal of God, just as a sheep is marked
by a shepherd with a special mark. But the shepherd is not the mark any
more than the Holy Spirit is the seal.
The Holy Spirit of God is the Agent who does the
sealing, but the Holy Spirit is not the Seal. What, then, is the Seal or
Sign of Yahweh the God of Israel? To find out we will again resort to that
reliable guideline of allowing the scriptures to interpret themselves. When
we do this we find that Yahweh's Seal, the identifying sign he places in the
minds of followers is His LAW. Yes, the law of God is the Almighty's seal and
the Sabbath commandment in His law is the unique, ratifying SIGN (signature) the
Almighty places in the minds of His followers, to signify to the universe that
they are His special people.
In other words, God's people are to be signed and sealed. Here is proof of this astonishing fact.
Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony , says God, seal the law among my disciples.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
Exodus 31: 13: Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Ezekiel 20: 12: Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them. 20: And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.
Exodus 13: 9: And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the LORD's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.
Hebrews 10: 16: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
These texts clearly prove that Yahweh's law, and the Sabbath commandment in His law, constitutes the identifying seal and signature He places in the minds of His followers. Consequently, when a believer remembers them, bears them in mind and keeps the Almighty's commandments, especially His Sabbath commandments, he/she is in effect declaring to the universe that Yahweh, the God of Israel, is his/her Father. And what, you may well ask, are the Almighty's Sabbath commandments?
The answer is:
|They are the weekly Sabbath command in the
Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11)
||And the seven annual Sabbaths mentioned in
Leviticus chapter 23. Together with the true seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday),
these annual Sabbath days constitute the signature (sign) of Yahweh, the
Creator of the universe.|
If you would like to know more about the Sabbaths of
the Almighty and about the Sacred Calendar which He is currently using to
organise His work, write to us for our free booklet entitled The
Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel.
When , you may well ask, does the sealing of the 144,000 take place? The answer is, the sealing begins shortly after the 6th seal and finishes just before the 7th seal. Indeed, the events of the 7th seal (the hurting of the earth, the sea and the trees etc.) are held up till the sealing of the 144,000 is finished,
Rev.7: 1: And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2: And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3: Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The four winds which are scheduled to hurt the earth, the sea and the trees are not merely physical winds like hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons etc. They are far more than that. These 'winds' also represent the enormous spiritual authority and power angel or spirit-beings possess. Spirit-beings are themselves often referred to in the Scriptures as 'winds' and even the work of God's Spirit is likened to a 'wind.'
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
The four angels are granted authority to hurt,
that is to wreck havoc upon the earth, the sea, the trees
and the grass once the sealing of the 144,000 is finished. And in
measured onslaughts of destruction that is exactly what we will find them doing
at the 7th seal. See Trumpets 1 to 3 later.
THE INNUMERABLE MULTITUDE
Besides the 144,000 commandment keeping Israelites who are sealed, and this number will certainly include many Gentile believers who are grafted in the Olive of Israel, (Romans 11:17-24) the prophet sees another mighty throng - an innumerable multitude - from every nation, kindred, tongue and people. (Rev. 7:9)
It is not specified in chapter 7 whether or not these believers accept the Almighty's Seal at the same time as do the 144,000. But this much is certain, they will eventually all come around to keeping the commandments of God; and that includes the keeping of His weekly and annual Sabbath days. Here is proof of this amazing fact:
Rev.7: 13: And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14: And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16: They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17: For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Note the words, these are they which came out of
the great tribulation. These believers, in other words go through the
tribulation - or
at least part of it. We are expressly told that they shall hunger and thirst
no more, implying that they had already experienced hunger and thirst during
the tribulation. Remember this important point.
The prophecy goes on to say that they washed
their robes. What does this mean? It means that through the merits and power
of the blood (life) of the Saviour these believers now begin to keep the
commandments. The figurative phrase 'wash their robes' in chapter 7 is
translated 'do the commandments' in Revelation 22.14. The
innumerable host, in other words, will begin to keep the commandments of God.
They will clean up their lives (wash their robes) by bringing them into
line with the high and holy standards of Yahweh's law.
If this multitude hadn't accepted the claims of God's law at the time of the sealing, they will most certainly do so shortly after - during the tribulation. That is what these scriptures are impliedly saying.
In the blood of the Lamb .
What does this phrase mean? Blood is life. It also symbolises life. (Lev. 17:14, Deut. 12:23) The blood of the Lamb, therefore, symbolises the life giving power of the Messiah the Lamb of God. Washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, in short, is a symbolic way of saying that this innumerable multitude of believers would begin to keep the commandments of God, accomplishing the seemingly impossible feat by the sanctifying power of the living Messiah. In their own strength it would have, of course, been utterly impossible to attain the high and holy standards required by God's law. But when aided by the power of the blood, the wonder-working, sanctifying and cleansing power of the Messiah's matchless life, they will reach the required standard of obedience. They will be pure, holy and perfect. Figuratively speaking they will then be clothed in white robes .
As the old hymn POWER IN THE BLOOD puts it:
Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There is power in the blood, power in the blood.
Sin stains are lost in its life-giving flow.
There is wonderful power in the blood.
In view of these texts, and there are others, there
is obviously no truth in the popular theory about the church being secretly
caught away to heaven before the tribulation. In this chapter we
can plainly see that an innumerable host of Gentile believers will be on
earth during the tribulation.
Summary of Revelation Chapter 7.
1) The chapter briefly tells of that unique, end-time work of God - the sealing work.
2) The sealing work will begin after the fearsome events of the 6th seal have occurred: that is, after the great earthquake, after the sun is darkened, after the mountains and the islands have moved, and after the sky is rolled back as a scroll and after world-wide panic overtakes the peoples of the world. (Rev. 6:12-17)
3) The sealing work must however be finished before the 7th seal starts: that is, before the four angels begin to hurt the earth, the sea and the trees. (Rev. 7:1-3)
4) The Seal of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel is His law, and the Sabbath days in His law represent His signature. They are the divine, identifying sign of sanctification which the Holy Spirit places in the minds of believers willing to obey Him. (Eze. 20:12 & 20, Isa. 8:16)
5) 144,000 believers accept Yahweh's Seal in their minds. They are Israelites, but some Gentile believers willing to obey the Almighty's commandments are numbered among them. (Rev. 7 and Romans 11:17-24)
6) The innumerable multitude from all nations will suffer hunger, thirst and scorching heat of the sun during the great tribulation. But they will eventually come out of it and wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. That is, they too will begin to keep the commandments of God and will accomplish this seemingly impossible feat by the life-giving power of the Son of God.
7) At the end of the great tribulation they will
stand in the presence of the Almighty. And then God will wipe away all tears
from their eye. (Rev. 7:13-17)
THE SEVENTH SEAL
Let us now return to the mainstream of the prophecy, back to the seals. The 7th seal, remember, has still to be opened. Chapter seven was inserted between the 6th and 7th seals simply because that is when the sealing work will occur in the stream of time. But once the 144,000 are sealed, the four angels standing at the four corners of the earth are allowed to release the four winds which will hurt the earth, the sea and the trees. The hurting of the earth, the sea and the trees is in fact the beginning of the 7th seal.
The 7th seal is divided into seven sub-sections,
each introduced by a Trumpet blast. The seven Trumpets, in other words,
constitute the 7th seal; they are the 7th seal in terrifying detail.
Remember this important point, for great confusion will result if the seven seals and the seven trumpets are treated as two separate prophecies. The 7th seal is introduced with these words:
Rev.8: 1: And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2: And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
The First Trumpet
The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. (Rev. 8:7)
At this Trumpet, mighty continents housing millions
of human beings will be devastated by hail and fire mingled with blood. Similar
scenes, though on a much smaller scale, were witnessed in ancient times at the
destruction of Sodom and Egypt. (Gen. 19:24, Exodus 9:24) The God of Israel then
literally rained hail and fire on mankind because of their grievous sins and
stubborn refusal to acknowledge His authority. The same thing is due to happen
at the 1st Trumpet. We are also told that one third of the world's forests and
all the green grass will be burnt up. As foretold in Rev. 7. 1-3 the four
winds are beginning to hurt the earth and the trees.
What these events do to the agricultural output of
the world is difficult to imagine: but it is quite obvious that this 1st Trumpet
ushers in the terrible Time of Trouble! a time of international turmoil
and terror unparalleled in the history of humanity.
The Second Trumpet
Rev.8: 8: And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 9: And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
At this Trumpet one third of the earth's oceans will
congeal like the blood of a dead man. The sea, like the earth and trees before
it, is being hurt as foretold in Rev. 7.1-3. All the traffic on the
ocean/s involved will stop; and all the fish in those waters will perish. In
addition to these immediate effects, there will be other awesome repercussions,
such as freak weather conditions, lack of rain water, fresh air and oil. The
oceans of the world, as any ecologist will confirm, regulate the weather and
help purify the very air we breathe. So the death of even one ocean is a
catastrophe of unimaginable magnitude. This Trumpet, in short, will disrupt the
weather, the agricultural output, the economy and the physical welfare of the
whole human race.
At about this time the sun will begin to scorch the
earth, for the cooling effect of the oceans will have diminished and drought
will become a world-wide problem. Hunger and thirst will then become as common
in the West as they are today in the East. The Great Tribulation will
have then entered its second terrifying stage.
The Third Trumpet
Rev.8: 10: And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 11: And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Like the 1st and 2nd Trumpets before it, the 3rd
Trumpet causes untold damage and distress on earth. A third of the rivers and
fountains of water are now polluted and many people die as a result. The
question is often asked, Could not the terms earth, sea, trees, grass, ships
and fish be symbolic?
The Stewarton Bible School does not deny that
possibility for it obviously does exist. Indeed, some of the terms (trees,
grass, fish etc.) could easily be taken to represent people and scriptural
texts found in support. The main reason why we favour the literal translation,
however, and avoid references to people, is because 'a third of mankind' is
scheduled to die under the 6th Trumpet That frightening fact by itself, which is
expressed twice in Revelation 9 verses 15 and 18, compels us towards the opinion
of that the hurting of a third of the sea, a third of the ships, a third of
the rivers, a third of the trees and all the green grass cannot also refer
to people, but must -
at least on a lower plane -
refer to the literal sea, ships, rivers, fish, trees and grass. Indeed, it is
difficult to imagine what else they could be, especially when we remember that a
third of the human race is scheduled to die at the 6th Trumpet. Nevertheless,
and we say this without reservation, symbolic representation may still be
present here; but to date we have not come across any person capable of
explaining away the anomalies such an interpretation would create.
The Fourth Trumpet
And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. (Rev. 8:12)
The punishment hitherto confined to this planet now
mounts up to the heavens. The sun, moon, and stars are somehow smitten and begin
to shine with a greatly diminished beam. How this almost unimaginable
catastrophe is brought about is not explained, but it is obvious that if this
trumpet is understood in a literal sense, then physical light as we know it will
be greatly reduced on earth.
Once again we ask the question: Could it be that
this Trumpet presents a symbolic picture of heavenly powers, and that the
sun, moon and the stars in this instance actually stand for spiritual agents of
light and energy -
perhaps angel beings?
The possibility obviously must exist, especially in view of the plain statement like: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches. (Rev. 1:20) If this were the case, then this Trumpet's reference to darkened stars could well present a drastic reduction in angelic authority throughout the universe. A third of the angelic host - would be smitten by God, and their privilege and ability to radiate spiritual light taken from them. This Trumpet, then, may be the prelude which is mentioned in Revelation 12:9.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Yes, the 4th Trumpet could well have symbolic
overtones; but whatever its interpretation, it sets the scene for another dark
age - a spiritual
twilight zone in time -
when light from heaven will diminish greatly and Satanic activity on earth will
The picture presented so far is undoubtedly grim and
the reader is probably wondering if there is any good news in this catalogue of
catastrophe; any protection for the true believer in the terrible Time of
Trouble. We are happy to report that there is a great deal of good news and
a most encouraging degree of protection; but these blessings are conditional,
being reserved for those who genuinely endeavour to obey God. (Read Deuteronomy
28 for proof of the principle that the blessings of God are reserved for the
We have already seen that the Seal of Yahweh the God
of Israel is His law, and that His Sign (signature) is the Sabbath
commandment in His law. We have also seen how that 144,000 believers will at
that time accept the Almighty's Seal in their minds, and will begin keeping the
commandments of God with faultless dedication and effect. The blessings which
follow that kind of obedience will be beyond comparison and will manifest
themselves in many miraculous ways during the Time of Trouble. One of the
blessings will be that of divine protection. A perfect example of the
protection afforded the 144,000 sealed believers in the Time of Trouble is given
in Revelation chapter 9, which outlines the event of the 5th Trumpet. In verse 4
we note - with great
relief - that at
that time all sealed believers (those who obey Yahweh's law) will be
supernaturally protected from torture and abuse. All others will suffer.
This matter of divine protection is dealt with later. Yes, there will be
protection during the Great Tribulation, but it will be reserved for those who
obey the Almighty God and bear His Seal. Of all mankind, they alone will be kept
from Satan at the time of the end, and will walk unscathed through the fiery
trials just as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did in ancient Babylon. (Daniel 3)
Indeed, those bygone experiences in Daniel's day were especially staged by the
Eternal as miniature demonstrations, prophetic prototypes of a
mighty deliverance which is to be repeated on a world-wide scale before the
entire universe, when the Almighty will once again miraculously protect His
obedient servants form the terrors of the Evil One.
Bearing these reassuring thoughts in mind, let us now return to the prophecy of the seven seals, for there are still three trumpets to explain. The last three Trumpets (5, 6 and 7) are so fearful that even by angel standards they are classified as 'Woes.'
|The 5th Trumpet is the 1st Woe.
||The 6th Trumpet is the 2nd Woe.
||The 7th Trumpet is the 3rd Woe.|
And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through
the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the
inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the
three angels, which are yet to sound! (Rev.8:13)
The Fifth Trumpetst Woe)
Rev.9: 1: And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2: And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3: And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4: And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5: And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. 6: And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
No one will deny, but that here before us is a picture of absolute terror, when for 5 months earth's mighty population, all except the sealed servants of Yahweh, will be tormented by a host of merciless beings who are to arise from the bottomless pit. For obvious reasons we will not dwell on this frightening aspect of the prophecy once having presented it. Instead, we will briefly answer the following questions and point to a way of escape.
1) What is the bottomless pit?
2) And who are the beings that ascend out of
The general lack of interest in the Revelation has
over the years resulted in a dearth of information about the bottomless
pit. But it is obviously a subject which all the world should know
about; for is not mankind going to be tormented for 5 months by beings which
come out of the bottomless pit? The answers to those two questions about the
bottomless pit and it occupants are of vital importance, so let us closely study
The original Greek word abussos is
translated in the Bible (in Rev. 9:1) as bottomless pit. Some Bible
dictionaries render abussos as 'abyss.' The word abussos
means exceedingly deep gulf or pit. Abussos is also used in Luke's gospel
where it is translated simply as the deep. In the incident
recorded in Luke 8. 26-36 we are given an important clue as to what the abyss
is and how frightened evil angels are of being sent there. If the reader will
turn to Luke's gospel he will see (in verse 31) how certain devils who had taken
possession of a man were themselves terrified of being ordered into the abyss.
They literally begged the Messiah for permission to enter a herd of swine rather
than be sentenced to the abussos -
the exceedingly deep pit.
From this incident we can see that the abussos, the bottomless pit is a place or condition which evil angels dread; a kind of spirit penitentiary or dungeon which existed thousands of years ago. Strong's concordance describing the 'bottomless pit' says it is a:
"pit of immeasurable depth, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons."
It is from somewhere within that unlit dungeon that a myriad symbolic locusts will arise at the 5th Trumpet or 1st Woe. (Rev. 9:1-3) What are these locusts that torture mankind for five months? They are evil angels, devils of mind-bending depravity who were sentenced to the abyss long before the early Christian era. At this very moment (August 1998) they are still chained and completely immobilised within the blackness of the abyss, held there in total darkness awaiting the judgement of the Great Day. Here is proof of this astounding fact.
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (2 Peter 2:4)
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. (Jude 6)
Yes, fallen angels are at this moment held captive in the abyss, the bottomless pit, fettered in a way we humans do not properly understand, so the symbol of a 'chain' is used to help us. At the 1st Woe, a mighty angel (star) will be divinely authorised to open the abyss, and out will pour this host of devils like the smoke of a great furnace. (Rev. 9:1-5) The only people on earth who will be protected from their sadistic onslaught will be the ones who bear in their foreheads the Seal of the God of Israel. All others will be tormented. Here is proof of this frightening fact.
And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads..(Rev. 9:4)
Without labouring the point, we will at this stage
again respectfully remind the reader to seriously consider accepting Yahweh's
Seal, for fearful indeed will be the lot of those who reject it. References in
this woe to Abaddon, the king of the bottomless pit (verse 11) are
covered later where the identity of this king who is to ascend from the
bottomless pit is considered.
Revelation 9:12 brings us to the end of the 1st woe
(the 5th Trumpet). The reader will have noticed that even though the scenes
portrayed here are fearsome, divine protection is assured to those who have
God's Seal, especially from the terrors of Abaddon the Destroyer from the Abyss.
The Sixth Trumpet (The 2nd Woe)
Rev.9: 12: One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. 13: And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14: Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15: And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16: And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17: And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18: By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
The events that occur at the 2nd Woe are so
catastrophic that nothing we can say or write will adequately describe them.
Here is a woe that defies the imagination and leaves even the enlightened
believer aghast; and because of this we will simply list the three main events
scheduled to occur at this Trumpet and then very briefly explain them.
To begin with, the reader must bear in mind that the
record of the 2nd Woe begins in Rev. 9.12, continues right through chapter 10
and ends at Rev. 11 verse 14. The events that are described between these two
scriptural boundaries, therefore, are contemporary, they occur during the same
period of time, that is - during the 2nd Woe. This is an
important point to remember, especially when trying to interpret the events of
Revelation chapter 11, which deals initially with the overthrow of Jerusalem and
the work of the Two Witnesses.
The three main events scheduled to occur at the 2nd Woe (the 6th Trumpet) are as follows:
four mighty angels will be released from the Great River Euphrates. Leading
a force of some 200,000,000 they will slay one third of mankind!
||Second Event: the
prophet is given a measuring rod and told to measure the Temple of God,
the altar and them that worship therein. He is instructed not to measure
the outer court of the Temple, for it is given over to the Gentiles, who
will be allowed to trample the holy city under foot for a period of 42
months. (Rev. 11:1-2)
during this same 42 month period (1260 days) Yahweh's Two Witnesses
will preach to the entire world. At the end of that time they will be
murdered by the Beast who is to arise from out of the Abyss (Rev.
11:3-7) But after three and a half days they will be raised to life and will
ascend to heaven. The 2nd Woe (6th Trumpet) ends at the resurrection of the
Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:8-14)|
Let us now consider these three events and discover
what is going to happen on earth at the 2nd Woe. The Great River Euphrates
mentioned in Revelation 9: 14 is not the natural stream of water which flows in
the Middle East, but a great spiritual outflow upon which sits that mighty
metropolis of evil, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS! The literal
Euphrates on earth, real enough though it is, is merely the physical replica or
shadow of the Great River Euphrates above. At this point we will briefly
explain the second, vital clue to understanding Bible prophecy.
The first clue is
to realise that certain prophecies in God's Word are written in symbolic
language. To understand them one must compare scripture with scripture and
allow the Bible to interpret itself. This process was explained earlier.
The second clue is to know that certain
realities in the spirit realm above are reflected or duplicated in some physical
way on this earth. In other words, here below, in a very real and measurable
form, we find miniature models, transient earthly counterparts,
scaled-down physical replicas of the mighty spiritual originals
which exist in the realms above. There is, then, this significant difference
between a symbol and a model. Symbols are used in Bible prophecy
to represent the qualities, characteristics, procedures, work and purposes of
human or spiritual agencies. Whereas models are miniature copies
or replicas of the agencies themselves. For example, consider a candlestick. It
is used in Bible prophecy to symbolise the church's duty or purpose to
shed spiritual light. A candlestick is a symbol of a church group, not a
replica of one. The literal Euphrates, on the other hand, is a model, a
scaled-down physical replica, a miniature copy of the spiritual Euphrates
above. The prophecy of the Revelation has a great deal to say about these earthly
counterparts; and as we study them here below we are able to learn a great
deal about what is happening in the realms above.
Returning to the prophecy with this second clue in
mind, we find that at the 2nd Woe four mighty angels are released from somewhere
within the Great River Euphrates. They are obviously beings of awesome authority
and power, and in the echelons of evil they stand as near to Satan as the four
living creatures do to God. (see Rev. 4:6-8 where the throne of the Almighty is
One Third of Mankind Slain
Marshalling an army of some two hundred thousand,
thousand (200,000,000) these four demons slaughter one third of mankind! Statisticians
tell us: that in the year 1500 the world's population stood at around 500
million. By the year 1800, just 300 years later, it had doubled and topped the
1000 million mark. By the year 1930, a mere 130 years later, it had doubled
again and stood at 2,000 million. And by the end of this century, barely 18
years hence, it will have rocketed to over 6,000 million souls! That's
how fast the world's population is growing.
This prophecy states that at the 2nd Woe, one
third of mankind will be slain. That's 2 billion people!
Let the reader pause for a moment and consider that stunning fact; for it means that in the near future, even at the present count, some 2,000,000,000 people are going to die at this Woe. This colossal figure of two thousand million represents the combined populations of China, and India. Or, put another way, all of Europe, the U.S.A Canada, Russia, Japan and several other nations besides. How this coming holocaust will be brought about is not fully explained; but it is going to happen nonetheless, for the scripture must be fulfilled. I repeat: One third of earth's population are scheduled to die under this 2nd Woe! We could, of course, speculate as to what type of warfare, if any, will bring this about (nuclear, biological, chemical, radiological, electronic or conventional) but we will not, because we could be totally wrong. The prophecy simply states that:
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. (Rev. 9:15)
Strange as it may seem, the remaining two thirds of
mankind do not link this massive slaughter with personal or national sin:
for we are told that at that time people will still be unrepentant and will
continue in their witchcraft, idolatry, deception and blasphemy. (Rev. 9:20-21)
Here is spiritual blindness (or is it stubborn pride?) as its worst. Chapter 10
is inserted into the mainstream of the prophecy at this stage and the scene
The reader must, however, bear in mind that the
2nd Woe is still in progress and will remain so till Revelation 11 verse 14 is
In chapter 10 we read of how the prophet is given a little,
open book. He is told to eat it. The open book could either be the
prophetic book of Daniel, which was to be kept sealed or shut till the time of
the end when it would be understood (Daniel 12:4). Or it could be the
seven-sealed scroll which the Lamb had just taken from the Almighty's hand and
opened seal by seal (Rev. 5:1-5). Either way, the message of the open book is
sweet to the taste; that is, to those who figuratively eat, understand
and believe it. But the reality of this Woe, when witnessed, is
very, very bitter indeed. 'One third of mankind is slain!' That,
dear reader, is a bitter prospect by anyone's standards. The bitterness
will be bearable, however, especially when one considers that the prophecy does
not have long to run. The end of all things will take place, we are told, in
the days of the seventh angel, when he begins to sound his trumpet. (Rev.
The message of Revelation 10 is one of great encouragement, for it reminds all believers of two things:
|That the 2nd Woe, though bitter, will end.
||That the end of this wretched system of human
suffering and pain is at hand.|
Having briefly considered the message of Revelation
chapter 10, let us now return to the mainstream of the prophecy and continue
with the events of the 2nd Woe.
The second event scheduled to take place at the 2nd Woe (6th Trumpet) concerns the holy city of Jerusalem, which is to be captured by the Gentiles and dominated for a period of 42 months.
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (Rev. 11:2)
We know that the term 'holy' or 'great
city' means Jerusalem because in verse 8 it identifies this city as 'where
also our Lord was crucified.' That means - Jerusalem. The
rising tension in the Middle East strongly suggests that an all-out attack on
Jerusalem is not only inevitable -
but near. The whole Arab world, and many other nations besides, are
lining up against the tiny nation of Israel, and it will not be long before the
predicted attack will occur and Jerusalem will be captured.
Please note that the 42 month duration of
Jerusalem's subjugation is 42 literal months, which is 1260 days or three and a
half years. The principle of reckoning a day for a year and arriving at 1260
years does not apply in the prophecy of the Revelation. Some commentators have
used that principle here and as a result have been obliged to begin this Woe in
the distant past, some 1260 years ago. Because of this misapplication they have
been unable to point to any time since the Revelation was given (AD96) when a 'third
of mankind was slain,' or when 'Jerusalem was under the heel of
the Gentiles for 1260 years.' Never in history has a third of mankind been
slain; nor has Jerusalem ever been trampled under foot by Gentiles for an exact
period of 1260 years, or days for that matter. Any historian will confirm that
Jerusalem has been over-run by Gentile armies several times in its long and
tumultuous past, but never for an exact period of 1260 years. So the day
for a year principle cannot possibly apply in the book of Revelation.
The only remaining alternative is that at the 2nd
Woe - which is
still future -
the present Middle East crisis will erupt and after another blood-bath the city
of Jerusalem will be captured by the Gentiles. The exact 42 months period of
brutal domination will then begin. Grim though this prospect may appear to those
of us who worship the God of Israel, all is not lost, for the Messiah is
scheduled to return to earth and to liberate Jerusalem from Gentile rule.
Speaking through the prophet Zechariah, Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel has this to say about the end-time capture and liberation of Jerusalem.
Zec.14: 1: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2: For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3: Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5: And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. 6: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8: And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9: And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
This amazing prophecy about Jerusalem being
attacked, captured and then miraculously delivered by the Messiah who is to
descend upon the split Mount of Olives has obviously never been fulfilled. In
other words, it has still to happen; and happen it will in the near future.
All the events in the Middle East indicate that the final scenes are set; the
mounting tension, the anger of the nations at Israel's behaviour, the utter
fruitlessness of the various peace talks, the trade and arms embargoes, the
outbreaks of anti-Semitism around the globe, all these indicate that a
multinational attack on Jerusalem is not only certain but imminent.
We may be absolutely sure, however, that in spite of all these foreboding signs, pregnant with peril as most of them are, behind and above them all the Almighty God of Israel is working His twofold plan out. And that plan is this:
|To teach all nations that the God of Israel still
rules in the affairs of men.
||And that He is about to purge and cleanse His
chosen people Israel and His church from the filthiness of sin; so
that He may once again dwell amongst us as in the days of old.|
Measure the Temple
The 42 month subjugation of Jerusalem, followed by its dramatic liberation by the Messiah, will accomplish the first part of the plan. And the instruction to rise and measure the Temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein (Rev. 11:1) will trigger the second. Let me explain further.
Following the clue of comparing scripture with scripture, we will turn to the prophecy of Ezekiel where in chapters 40 and 43 a similar instruction to measure the Temple of God was carried out. In the vision of Ezekiel, the prophet is given detailed measurements of every conceivable part of the temple: the wall, the gates, the chambers, the pillars and posts, the steps, the galleries, the courts and even the territory on which the temple stood. All were accurately measured and the specifications cover several chapters of Ezekiel's book.
"And why." you may well ask, "was the temple measured? What was the Almighty's purpose in ordering that painstaking exercise?"
The answer is, the temple was measured so that God's people could see, investigate and learn to live by the laws and principles which govern true worship of Yahweh the God of Israel. Here is proof of this astonishing fact.
Ezekiel 43: 10: Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. 11: And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
The order to rise and measure the Temple,
in other words, is the Almighty's way of drawing His people's attention to the
principles and laws of the Temple in Heaven: the sacred original of which the
earthly temple was but a copy. And this is precisely what He aims to do during
the 2nd Woe, while a third of earth's mighty population is perishing. He will
then open the eyes of the innumerable multitude of believers to the eternal
principles and laws of the Temple in Heaven, its layout, its structure, its
services and its divine purpose. And many believers who had previously
rejected the commandments of God at the time of Sealing will at this Woe
begin to understand and obey the regulations of the Temple which governs the
worship of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel. They will then repent of their
sins and begin to keep the commandments of God in accordance with His will.
The Ark of the Covenant
Towards the end of Revelation chapter 11 the prophet John tells of the heavenly Temple being opened. What did he see inside that sacred place? He saw, believe it or not, the Ark of the Covenant, the heavenly original which contains the Ten Commandments. Please note that John saw this some 60 years after the resurrection, so the commandments were not cancelled at Calvary as many Christians suppose.
And the Temple of God was opened in heaven and there was seen in his Temple the Ark of his Testament. (Rev. 11:19)
Yes, the Ark of the Testament, in which is deposited the original version of Yahweh's perfect law, (the eternal constitution of the mighty universe) is still within the heavenly Temple and John saw it over 60 years after the resurrection. The reader may be sure that at the 2nd Woe, when the Temple in heaven is measured, those same principles and laws enshrined within the Ark of the Covenant will arouse the interest of believers all over the world. Then many will be ashamed of their hitherto rebellious attitude towards Jehovah's laws and will begin to keep His commandments just as He directed in the vision of Ezekiel.
write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them. (Ezekiel 43:11)
This measuring of the Temple, in short, is a divine
call to obedience, a call which is directly linked with the message of the Two
Witnesses, who we will now consider.
The Two Witnesses
The third major event to occur during the 2nd Woe (6th trumpet) will be the powerful work, death and resurrection of the Two Witnesses.
Rev.11: 3: And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4: These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5: And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6: These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7: And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
Who are the Two Witnesses, the two symbolic olive trees that stand before the God of the earth? They are two spirit-filled beings who come down from the Temple in Heaven. The prophet Zechariah tells of them in the following words:
Zechariah 4: 11: Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof? 12: And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? 13: And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord. 14: Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.
Though we cannot at this stage be certain as to the identity of the Two Witnesses, because their names are not given, these scriptures tell us the following facts about the Two Witnesses and their work.
a) They are two spirit-filled sons of oil who stand in the very presence of the God of the whole earth. (Zech. 4:14, Rev. 11:4)
b) Like the two angel messengers who visited Sodom before its overthrow (Genesis 19), they will come down to the earth just before the end of this age to give mankind a final warning before the seven lasts plagues devastate the earth.
c) They will preach for a period of 1260 days, which is 42 months, the exact duration of Jerusalem's final subjugation. (Rev. 11:2-3)
d) Being filled with the Spirit of God, they will have supernatural powers, and no humans will dare restrain them for fear of speedy retribution. (Rev. 11:5)
e) At the end of the 42 month period they will be murdered by the Beast who rose from the bottomless pit at the 1st Woe. Their bodies will then be exhibited in the occupied city of Jerusalem, where the Lord was crucified, and the world will rejoice at their apparent end; for they and their message where most unpopular. (Rev. 11:7-10)
f) Then after three and a half days they will be raised to life and will ascend to heaven in full view of their enemies. (Rev. 11:11-13)
g) The 2nd Woe or 6th Trumpet will end at the time of their resurrection. (Rev. 11:14)
It is not necessary at this point in time to further
identify the Two Witnesses, because when they do eventually arrive on the earth
the whole world will speedily become aware of their presence. There will be no
mistaking them or the absolute authority with which they preach. Even in the
city of Jerusalem, which at the time will be under the Gentile heel, they will
declare the message of God with awesome effect. No earthly authority will dare
restrain them, for like Elijah of old they are able to reduce their opponents to
ashes; and like Moses and Aaron, can cause all manner of plagues. (2 Kings 1,
Exodus chapters 7 to 12)
Many and varied have been the claims and
interpretations concerning the Two Witnesses, but not one of them meets all the
conditions listed above. Nor is that surprising, for these two divine messengers
can only appear on the world's scene at God's appointed time, which is when a
third of the world's population is being slain and the city of Jerusalem is
under the Gentile heel. When they do arrive, however, they will bring to all
mankind a final appeal from God. Their message will be, in fact, the same call
to repentance and obedience which every true prophet of God has delivered
since the days of Enoch. Multitudes of believers from every nation, kindred
tongue and people will heed their call and begin to obey God's law. This will be
the time when the innumerable multitude (see page 12) will wash their
robes and come into line with the eternal principles of God's law which
is within the Ark of the Covenant inside the Temple of Heaven.
The vast majority of mankind, however, will reject
the Two Witnesses and their powerful call to repentance, faith and obedience.
Why? Because at about that time the most diabolical Agent of Evil this world has
ever seen will be parading the earth and seducing its inhabitants into serving
Satan. The Two Witnesses will be murdered by this being, who is symbolically
referred to in the Revelation as the Beast.
See SBS articles the Two Witnesses and Who/What is the Antichrist for more information on these beings. This brings us to the end of the 6th Trumpet, the terrifying 2nd Woe, when within a short space of three and a half years:
|A third of mankind will be slain.
||Jerusalem will be captured and dominated by the
||And the people of God will be purged, purified
and made obedient by the power of the living Messiah, whose Two Witnesses
will testify before men and angels of the sacred requirements of the Temple
The second Woe is past; and behold a third woe
cometh quickly. (Rev. . 11:14)
The Seventh Trumpet (The 3rd Woe)
Rev.11: 15: And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16: And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17: Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19: And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
The 7th Trumpet brings us to the climax of human
history, when another mass-confrontation between good and evil will take place.
It will commence with a spiritual election which will test the
allegiance of every soul on earth; will then progress through the unimaginable
terrors of the seven last plagues (called the Wrath of God) and end with
the total overthrow of Satan and his system.
Fearsome though the events of this Trumpet are, and this is why it is called a Woe, great joy will overwhelm the heavenly host at its sounding (Rev. 11:15), for only then will the mystery of God be finished. We know this from the following verse.
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (Rev. 10:7)
To most people God is a mystery and His involvement
with mankind is even more mysterious than His invisible presence. How often have
we heard people say: "If God is a God of love and is all-powerful as He
claims to be, why doesn't He put an end to human suffering?" Or "What
is God doing about the rising tide of crime? Why doesn't He use His power to
prevent sickness, sorrow, pain and death? Doesn't He care?"
Questions like these, many of them awash with tears,
are repeatedly voiced by people all over the globe. And, as conditions worsen,
the same apparently cruel response comes back from heaven -
a bewildering, deathly silence. At the 7th Trumpet (the 3rd Woe) that silence
will be broken. The mystery of God, hidden from most of humanity
since the dawn of time, will be finished and made plain. All the questions about
God's strange dealings will then be answered.
Analysing the main events of the 3rd Woe we discover that they fall into three distinct categories involving authority, anger and reward. These three are summarised in the following words. The words in bold type are ours.
Rev. 11:17: Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (AUTHORITY) 18: And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come (ANGER) and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (REWARD)
Most of the remaining chapters in Revelation tell of
the final scenes on earth just before the end of this age, and in varying
degrees they deal with either a call to recognise Yahweh's authority, the
outpouring of His anger or the distribution of His rewards. Let us
now very briefly consider these chapters. It would obviously help a great deal
if the reader read each chapter before the explanation.
In this chapter we are given a symbolic overview of Satan's age-old revolt against the authority of God, a revolt which began in the distant past but still manifests itself in hatred for the people of Zion, the Messiah of Israel and all commandment-keeping believers down to this present day. In vision the prophet is shown a 'woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon.' A symbolic dragon then tries to devour her child at its birth, but the boy is caught up to God and to His throne. The dragon then turns on the woman in an effort to kill her, but she is miraculously lifted out of his reach and taken to the wilderness, where she is nourished for a period of three and a half years (verses 13-14). In a fit of fury the dragon then turns on the woman's remaining offspring, the 'remnant of her seed,' who are still in human society and who keep the commandments of God (verse 17).
The woman in this vision, who is seen
standing on the moon, represents the ekklesia of
Yahweh, the spiritually called out ones, the 'wife'
or church of the Almighty, whose faithful members make up the Israel of
The 'man-child' who is to rule all nations with the rod of iron (absolute authority) is Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), the only begotten Son of the living God.
The 'dragon' is Satan the Devil, the leader
of the revolution against the Eternal. During this Woe, the Almighty will
miraculously protect his spiritual 'wife', the church, from
Satan's wrath, especially those of Zion who are clothed in His righteousness and
who take their stand upon the requirements of His calendar -
which is symbolised by the moon. If you would like to know about Yahweh's
Calendar and of His sacred festivals which are directly linked to these
prophecies in Revelation, write for our free booklet entitled The
Sacred Calendar of the God of Israel. The booklet will introduce you to the
amazing time-element in Yahweh's schedule of salvation, something so few
believers know anything about.
This chapter is a forecast of the strangest spiritual election ever to be staged in the history of humanity. The electorate will be the citizens of every nation and the main issue will concern obedience to the law of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel.
Satan's visible representative on earth at the time
will be the Man of Sin, the Antichrist, the coming World
Dictator. He will be a being of commanding presence and power, and will
exercise all the authority of the Devil himself. The Man of Sin is symbolically
referred to in the Revelation as the BEAST! According to the prophet
John, the Beast is scheduled to make a personal appearance on earth at
this Seal, and will govern the whole of the world for a period of three and a
half years. The vast majority of mankind, we are told, will worship him in
abject terror, demonstrating their acceptance of his authority by doing his will
and receiving his Mark.
Those who refuse to accept the Mark of the Beast will lose the right to buy and sell. In other words they will be totally barred from the world's markets, banks and other economic institutions. On the other hand, those who do worship the Beast will receive the full measure of Yahweh's anger, which is to be poured out undiluted on mankind in the form of the seven last plagues.
A symbolic description of this coming World Dictator is given below:
Rev.13: 1: And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 2: And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 3: And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
4: And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 6: And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7: And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9: If any man have an ear, let him hear.
The Apostle Paul writing in plain language about the same being - the Man of Sin - said this:
2 Thessalonians 2: 1: Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2: That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5: Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6: And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
Yahweh's warning message against worshipping the Beast and accepting his Mark is as follows:
Rev.14: 9: And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Who will dispute but that here before us is a prophetic warning of unparalleled importance; which we must understand if we wish to escape the wrath of the Almighty. The two burning questions that immediately come to mind are:
|Who is the Beast?
||What is his Mark?|
THE BEAST OF REVELATION 13
Countless millions of words have been penned over the centuries as to the Beast and almost every major political or religious power has at some time been classified as being the Beast, the Antichrist!
The Beast we are told is:
||The Roman Empire
||The Roman Catholic Church
||The Protestant Church
||The British Empire
||The United States of America
||The United Nations Organisation
||The European Economic Community
||The New World Order etc. etc.|
The list is long and confusing to say the least, but
it is obviously an important issue which we must settle if we want to escape the
wrath of the Almighty God. And so we ask, which one of these -
if any - is the
Beast? Before we give our answer let us make one point clear; the Scriptures
do not state in plain and simple language who the Beast is. Nonetheless, we
are given a number of vital clues as to his identity, clues which we must
bear in mind if we are not to be taken in by every plausible theory that comes
our way. Six clues as to the Beast's identity are considered below for
the reader's guidance.
He is the Lawless One
Elsewhere in the Scriptures we are told that this same blasphemous power, who is scheduled to arrive on the world scene just before the return of the Messiah, is the Lawless One, the Wicked One, the Man of Sin. (2 Thess. 2:1-9)
He is the Lawless One because he not only breaks God's law, but vainly imagines that he can change it. The commandment he is particularly interested in trying to change is the one dealing with the sacred seasons, with TIME. This, of course, is the Sabbath commandment; for that is the only one which deals with the element of time. (Daniel 7:25)
He ... shall think to change times and laws.
This first clue, in short, tells us that the Beast is an outlaw, a blatant sinner, whose main objective is to change the times in Yahweh's law. In other words, he thinks he can change the Sabbath commandments; for these are the only ones dealing with the element of time.
He existed before the vision of the
Revelation was given.
Our next clue comes from the lips of a mighty angel who plainly tells us that the Beast was in existence before the Revelation was given, but was not alive at the time it was given.
The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit (Rev. 17:8)
This is a vitally important clue, for it means that when establishing his identity we will need to look for a person or power that existed before the book of Revelation was given (AD 96): a power 'that was.' Moreover, that power 'was not' around at the time the prophecy was given, but would ascend to life some time later - some time after AD 96.
He will arise from the Bottomless
Our next clue is even more meaningful than the first two, for it tells us where the Beast comes from.
Rev. 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
The fact that the Beast arises from out of the Bottomless Pit is also seen in Revelation 11: 7:
And when they (the Two Witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
We know from our previous study of the abyss that it is a spirit-penitentiary of some kind where multitudes of evil angels are imprisoned and are awaiting the day of judgement. The Beast will come from that place, from the Bottomless Pit.
He will actually reveal himself.
2 Thess.2: 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.
Rev.17: 8: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
His reign will last for 42 months.
Rev.13:5: And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
This 42 month period will coincide with the 1260 days or three and a half years the ekklesia of Yahweh (the church) is in the wilderness. See Revelation 12: verses 6 and 14) In other words, during the Beast's 42 month reign, when he is terrorising the world's inhabitants into serving him, the church of the Most High will be divinely protected in the wilderness - well out of Satan's reach.
He will meet his end at the
The Beast's reign, we are told, will end at the Messiah's return. Together with the False Prophet who deluded the world into accepting his Mark the Beast will be cast into the lake of fire.
Rev.19: 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
This clue tells us that the Beast is an authority
who is able to marshal the military might of all nations ( the kings of the
earth and their armies) and to lead them in battle against the returning Son
of God! Bear this vital clue in mind when trying to identify the Beast.
From these SIX meaningful clues we conclude that it is highly unlikely that any person, religious organisation or political party on earth today can sensibly be classified as being the Beast of Revelation 13; for of whom could it be said:
With due respect to the many opinions about the
Beast which have been voiced in the past, it is perfectly obvious that in this
present world there just does not exist any person or power -
political or ecclesiastical -
which could meet even 3 of the above conditions, let alone all 6 of them.
Who then, is the Beast of Revelation 13?
From these 6 clues the Stewarton Bible School presents the following answer. The Beast, the Antichrist, the Lawless One, the Little Horn is a supernatural being who existed millenniums ago and was imprisoned in the blackness of the Abyss for crimes too grievous for our puny minds to even imagine. Though the evil influence from his past existence still pervades human civilisation, the Beast himself is in the Abyss at this very moment.
In Rev. 9: 11 we are plainly told that a mighty monarch called Abaddon, the Destroyer, the Exterminator shall arise from out of the Bottomless Pit to terrorise mankind: that is, all except those who have accepted the Almighty's seal. The prophecy also tells us that three unclean spirits like frogs, the spirits of devils, motivate the Dragon, the Beast and the false Prophet. In other words, the Beast is an evil, unclean being like Satan the Devil and the False Prophet. Unclean output (lies) issues from each of their mouths.
Rev.16:13: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
As king of the evil host which emerges from the Bottomless Pit, Abaddon is the personification of evil, a sadist of unspeakable depravity and he speaks with an unclean, lying tongue!
Bearing these six clues in mind and comparing them with the prophecy of the Abyss, it is our considered opinion that the Beast who also rises from the Abyss, could well be Abaddon, the Destroyer, the King of the Bottomless Pit, the Exterminator from Sheol - the Son of Hell! Yes, the Beast could well be Abaddon, the King of the Bottomless Pit, the unclean spirit who teams up with Satan and the False Prophet against Yeshua the Messiah. When the Beast rises from the Abyss at the 1st Woe, he will attract to himself the world's allegiance and adoration - an adoration born of terror. He will then go on to be worshipped as the Antichrist - God on earth!
2 Thess.2: 3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
At that time the Beast's most ardent followers will
abandon themselves to violence, sexual licence and Devil worship, the very sins
multitudes of evil angels were imprisoned in the Abyss for in the days gone by.
(Jude 7). For three and a half years the Beast will govern the whole world,
compelling its terrified inhabitants into receiving his Mark. At the end of that
period he will organise the military might of all nations and dare to launch an
attack on Yeshua the Messiah at his return. He will perish in the attempt
and be hurled to his doom in the Lake of Fire. (Rev. 19:19-21)
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
When the Antichrist visibly manifests himself on earth and begins his three and a half year reign, he will compel the people of all nations to bear his Mark. Acceptance of it either in one's forehead (faith in it) or the right hand (acting upon it) will be compulsory, and those who refuse to receive the Mark will not be allowed to buy and sell in the markets of the world. In the prophecy of Daniel 7 we are plainly told that the Little Horn power (the Antichrist) will attempt to change the commandments dealing with time (the Sabbath days in Yahweh's law) which constitute the Sign of the God of Israel.
In other words, the Beast will attempt to
counterfeit Yahweh's signature (His Sabbath days): and in their place he will
popularise various festivals of his own choosing. It is these substitute
festivals or rest days which are scheduled to become the dreaded Mark
of the Beast, the Signature of Satan!
'And what,' you may ask, 'are these
substitute days which are to become the Mark of the Beast?' There is only
one true answer to that question and it presents itself as the only conclusion
that the foregoing facts allow. And that one inescapable conclusion is this:
That as the true weekly Sabbath (the
day known as Saturday) and the Annual Feast Days in the sacred calendar constitute
the Sign or Signature of Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel, then the Mark of the
Beast, the signature of the Lawless One, the one who vainly thinks that he can
change the Sabbaths in Yahweh's perfect law and replace them with festivals of
his own choice, must, by a process of simple deduction, be the bogus rest-day of
Sunday and all the other unholy festivals of heathenism which are
currently posing as the festivals of the Almighty God. (Christmas, Easter, Whit
Sunday, Ash Wednesday etc.)
Astonishing as this may sound, these popular
festivals are nothing more than the unsanctified output of paganism. Most were
kept by the heathen centuries before the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. In the
course of time they imperceptibly inveigled their way into the Christian church
and are now being boldly proclaimed as the Lord's Day, Christ's
birthday etc. Yet, and this is an unequivocal fact, there is not a single
verse in the Holy Scriptures which even hints at their supposed sanctity, let
alone calls for their observance.
When the Antichrist rises from the Abyss and begins
his three and a half year dictatorship he will greatly magnify these ancient
heathen festivals and rank the keeping of them as a Sign or Mark of
allegiance to him. Who knows, he may even have been instrumental in organising
their observance by the ancient pagans when he first lived; that is, centuries
before he was imprisoned in the Abyss. When the Antichrist arrives the
observance of Yahweh's Sabbaths will be banned and these bogus pagan festivals
will be raised to their ancient glory and will again attain the dubious
distinction of being the Mark of the Beast!
Strange as it may seem, not all the inhabitants of the earth will be deceived into receiving the Antichrist's Mark. There will be at least two groups of believers who will totally reject it.
1) The 144,000 Israelites who will have already accepted the Almighty's Seal at the time of the sealing.
2) An unspecified number of commandment-keepers who will bear the brunt of the Beast's anger when he discovers that he, as Satan the Dragon's agent, is unable to harm the woman in the wilderness. (Rev. 12)
The 144,000 Israelites are a special company of believers who are to be sealed by the Holy Spirit with Yahweh's character, which is specified in the principles embodied in the law. The 144,000 will not only observe God's commandments with faultless obedience, but they will keep His weekly and annual Sabbaths in the truest sense of the term: keep them as a sign of the absolute sanctification which Yahweh will have by then wrought in their lives. They are called 'Israelites,' so obviously a large proportion of that number will be blood-born descendants of the original children of Israel who will have accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as their promised Messiah. Nevertheless, among them will also be many Gentile believers who do not baulk at the idea of being classified as Israelites; for these souls know and live by the inspired pronouncement that says:
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:29)
These commandment-keeping Gentile believers are
grafted in the Olive of Israel (Romans 11) and are, hopefully, not
barred from being numbered with the 144,000 Israelites mentioned in this
prophecy. True Israelites, in other words, are not merely the Messiah-accepting
descendants of Jacob, but believers who not only have faith in Yahshua the
Messiah (Jesus Christ), but also endeavour to keep the laws of Yahweh the
God of Israel: particularly the Sabbath and food laws which so strikingly sets
apart Israel from every other nation on earth.
The 144,000 Israelites could well make up the
company who are symbolised by the woman in Rev. 12, but other than this brief
explanation of our view it would be infantile of us to presume as to the
particular denomination or race from which they will come. The innumerable
multitude of commandment-keepers mentioned in Rev. 12:17 will also refuse to
accept the Beast's Mark and though many of them will be martyred for their
stand, they will all reign with the Master when he returns to earth to begin his
millennial reign. (Rev. 20:4) This company will most certainly be made up of
believers from every denomination and race; but, perhaps, for not having
accepted Yahweh's Seal at the time of the sealing, they are not part of the
wilderness group who will be supernaturally protected during the Beast's reign.
THE THREE ANGELS' MESSAGES
Revelation 14 concerns three special messages of the Almighty which are scheduled to go to all the world during the time of the Seven Seals. To a limited degree these three messages are already being proclaimed to mankind by a few Christian groups, but it is quite obvious that they still have a lot further to go before they are concluded.
The 1st Angel's Message (the Everlasting Gospel)
Rev.14: 6: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7: Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Plainly this message is a special call to all
mankind to worship the Creator, the one who made heaven, and earth,
and the sea and the fountains of the water. At a time when the scriptural
record of creation is contemptuously set aside by most of the intellectuals of
this world: at a time when multiplied millions of people disdainfully reject the
Everlasting Gospel: at a time when the prospect of the approaching
Judgement is sniggered and sneered at, this sacred message calling all mankind
to worship the Creator is scheduled to go forth.
Every true believer will agree that that time has arrived. The 1st Angel's warning message, calling upon mankind to worship the Creator is going into all the world at this very moment and there isn't a power in the universe that can stop it. See article The Everlasting Gospel for more details of this angel's message.
The 2nd Angel's Message
And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. (Rev. 14:8)
Here we have another example of that second clue to
the understanding symbolic prophecy, where the operation and outcome of the
spiritual realities above can best be understood by watching their earthly
counterparts below. Babylon, in this context, is not King Nebuchadnezzar's
capital city, but that other metropolis of evil BABYLON THE GREAT which
straddles the Great River Euphrates above. What is even more stunning is the
fact that all the vaunted earthly systems of which men are so proud, are really
only sub-systems of this spiritual capital above -
Babylon the Great! whose monarch is Satan the Devil.
The fall of Babylon the Great, as predicted
by this message, not only means the utter degradation to which Satan's capital
has descended, but also the total overthrow of the spiritual capital itself. Just
as ancient Babylon fell into sin and was later overthrown on the very night it's
rulers were engaged in blasphemous revelry (Daniel 5), so too will Babylon the
Great and all it's sub-systems literally collapse before the armies of God.
As far as this present world is concerned, the message of the 2nd Angel means that at the fall of Babylon the Great, all the Babylonian sub-systems of the world will collapse in confusion. It is probably at that time of collapse, when total anarchy and confusion reigns, that the Beast will visibly manifest himself on earth and masquerade as the long awaited Saviour of the human race. When he appears he will be welcomed by millions as Jesus Christ himself; as the only one powerful enough to rescue mankind from its myriad problems. The Antichrist will then take over the government of the world and dare to rule mankind as God! (2 Thess. 2:3-4) According to the Revelation, Yahweh's followers are advised to come out of Babylon at that time; come out in order to escape the seven last plagues scheduled to fall on mankind.
Rev.18: 1: And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2: And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3: For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. 4: And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5: For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
Spiritually and socially we believers are, of course, already coming out of Babylon; but the day is not far distant when Babylon the Great will literally collapse before the armies of Yahweh and then we will physically move out of the world's cities just as God's people left ancient Babylon. May Yahweh hasten that day. The fall of Babylon the Great will be reflected on earth in the total economic and social collapse of all nations. Then will follow the punishment of Babylon's harlot daughters, the false religious systems and, finally the seven last plagues. These events are detailed in Revelation chapters 15 to 18. The reader is strongly advised to read those chapters in conjunction with the record of ancient Babylon's fall as given in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel.
The 3rd Angel's Message
Rev.14: 9: And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10: The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Every knowledgeable Bible student will recognise that here is a message of unparalleled importance, undoubtedly the most awesome warning recorded in the entire Scriptures, and one which we must understand and heed if we are to escape the wrath of the Almighty. In view of this fact the Stewarton Bible School has published a special tract entitled THE MARK OF THE BEAST which explains in greater detail what the Mark is and how to avoid receiving it. The 3rd Angel's message is an awesome warning to mankind of the fearsome consequences awaiting those who accept the Mark of the Beast.
If any man worships the Beast ... and receives his Mark ... the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.
Let the reader pause and take note of that
terrifying prospect, for it is fearsome beyond imagination. Here is no idle
message, no meaningless threat, but the Almighty God's last warning to mankind
concerning a subject dearest to His heart.
In summary the Three Angels' messages call upon all
1) To heed the Everlasting Gospel which calls upon mankind to worship the Creator.
2) To separate themselves from Babylon the Great, the Great Whore and her prostitute daughters.
3) To reject the Mark of the Beast, which manifests itself in the keeping of bogus pagan festivals which are currently being celebrated in place of the Sabbaths of the Creator.
Believers who remember Yahweh's Sabbaths are by their very stand heeding the messages of the three Angels.
weekly Sabbath is a memorial of His creation (Exodus 20:8) and the keeping
of it is a perfect response to the message of the 1st Angel which calls us
to worship the Creator.
the Almighty's Sabbaths are the specially appointed sign of sanctification
and separation from the sinful practices of the Babylonian system we find
ourselves in; (Ezekiel 20:12-20) and keeping them answers to the message of
the 2nd Angel.
Sabbaths of Yahweh are the very antithesis of the Mark of the Beast, and
keeping them is the required response to the 3rd Angel's message.|
At this point we will briefly explain the 3rd clue to understanding Bible prophecy. It concerns the existence of prophetic dramas. A drama is, of course, a play, a staged performance directed by someone to convey a given message. Prophetic dramas are staged performances, real live shows directed by the Almighty to put across the life-giving message of salvation. They are divinely authorised productions designed to demonstrate to the entire universe the spiritual realities scheduled to take place some time later in the Plan of Salvation.
A perfect example of a prophetic drama can be found
in the first few books of the Bible which catalogues the experience of ancient
Israel in the time of the Pharaohs. There we read of Israel's slavery, the
sacrifice of the Passover lamb, the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the
receiving of the law at Mount Sinai and the subsequent journey to the Promised
Land. Those ancient experiences were all divinely directed real-life
dramas of prophetic significance, for they foreshadowed mankind's
slavery in sin, salvation through the blood of the Messiah (the Lamb of God),
the total overthrow of Satan and his system, the Sealing work in the last days
and the church's triumphant entry into the glorious Kingdom of Heaven.
Yes, all those ancient experiences, and there are literally scores of them in the Scriptures, were prophetic dramas which were arranged and directed by the Creator to prefigure the mighty spiritual realities involved in the salvation of mankind. An understanding of them is a vital key to understanding the future. To grasp the meaning of the Revelation, therefore, we must go back to the Scriptures to the records of those ancient prophetic dramas. Together with the law of God they constitute an illustrated systems specification of the complex Programme of Salvation which the Almighty is currently running. The following text of Scriptures will prove this point.
1 Cor.10: 9: Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10: Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11: Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Note the words: 'all these things happened unto them for ensamples.' In other words, all the events recorded in the Old Testament were prototypes, shadows, examples, living dramas, prophetic illustrations of events scheduled to occur on a universal scale in these end times.
Let us now take one of those prophetic
illustrations which took place in ancient Babylon and see how it warns
us of coming events in Babylon the Great. The example we will take
is found in Daniel chapter 3. It is the well known story of Shadrach, Meshach
and Abednego, the three young Jews who were cast into the fiery furnace for
refusing to bow down to Nebuchadnezzer's image of gold. Almost every Christian
is acquainted with the story and knows how these three commandment-keeping
youths were miraculously preserved from death in the midst of the furnace. But
how few know that that experience was a prophetic drama, a figure,
a living prototype of a far greater spiritual event scheduled to
take place on a world scale in our day? How many realise that very soon all the
world will be called upon to submit or bow down to another 'image of
gold,' a computer-controlled economic system which will monitor the
financial activity of every person on earth! Yes the time is almost upon us when
every wage-packet, every payment, every transaction involving money (gold) will
be vetted, processed, recorded and monitored in an international economic system
controlled by the coming Dictator of the World. And once again, obedience to the
commandments of Yahweh will be the test of faith just as it
was in the days of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
According to the prophecy many believers will
hearken to the message of the 3rd Angel in that day. They will refuse to accept
the Mark of the Beast or bow down before the 'image of gold' in
order to trade in the market place. Instead, they will obey the commandments of
the God of Israel and like the three ancient worthies enter the furnace of
affliction unbowed. Then one of the greatest miracles ever known to man
will occur. Yahweh the God of the Hebrews will miraculously intervene. His Son
will once again walk with His obedient servants in the midst of the furnace and
all the forces of hell will be powerless to destroy them. That is the prophetic
message of Daniel chapter 3. In dramatised form that chapter tells us how the Treasures
of Truth are an invincible force, that their faith cannot be
extinguished and their numbers never totally wiped out. Persecution, in other
words, is totally incapable of destroying the commandment-keeping church of the
The closing words of the 3rd Angel clearly indicate that Yahweh's church will live through the fiery trials of that time and still maintain its faith and obedience. That's good news and it is expressed in these meaningful words:
Here is the patience of the saints: here are
they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev.
THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
The record of the seven last plagues is found in Revelation chapters 15 and 16. They are called the last plagues because they occur towards the end of the 7th Seal, just prior to the Messiah's return.
The 1st plague causes a noisome and grievous sore to
break out on all who have the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 16:2). So it is
obvious that these horrible plagues can only occur after the Beast has
arrived on the world scene and deluded the majority of mankind into receiving
his mark. These plagues are fearsome, to say the least, and because they are
adequately explained in the Revelation we will only mention two points about
them in this booklet.
1) The seven last plagues are referred to as the Wrath of God. (Rev. 16:1)
1: And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth..
The reader should not confuse the Great
Tribulation with the Wrath of God, because they are not the same. The
Great Tribulation is that terrible time of trouble mentioned in Rev.
7:14-17 through which multitudes of believers will pass. It is a time of
scorching heat, famine, thirst and agonising tears for all mankind; and it
begins with the 1st Trumpet at the opening of the 7th Seal. The Great
Tribulation is experienced by the obedient and disobedient alike with,
perhaps, the exception of those believers who accepted the Seal of Yahweh before
the events of the 7th Seal began.
The Wrath of God, on the other hand, is only
experienced by the persistently disobedient, and it occurs towards the end of
the 7th Seal. This means, most of humanity will experience the great
believer and unbeliever alike -
but only the persistently disobedient will experience the wrath of God.
That is the difference.
2) The seven plagues will be dealt out unmixed with mercy. (Rev. 14:9-10)
For the first time in human history the universe will witness the pouring out of the undiluted wrath of God. Previously when punishing mankind the Almighty has always tempered His anger with a generous measure of mercy. But at the end time it will be very different. For whosoever worships the Beast and receives his mark shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. Wrath, without mixture, means undiluted punishment of the severest kind! To those who accept the Holy Scriptures as the Word of the living God, that prospect is terrifying beyond imagination, and has led us to the conclusion that:
The responsibility of identifying the Mark of the Beast and then publishing information concerning it, is by far the most important and urgent commitment any church organisation could possibly undertake in these last days
Indeed this is the prime reason why the Stewarton
Bible School is sending out this booklet, (and placing it on the Internet) so
that every person who reads it will have a clear understanding of the momentous
issues at stake and know how to escape the undiluted wrath of the Almighty God.
Encapsulated in a single instruction the route a person must take to escape God's wrath is as follows:
Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
To fear God (Yahweh) means to respect him, to
honour him, to have faith in him, to love him, to stand in awe of his
immeasurable holiness and worth; and above all to gratefully accept the
priceless gift of salvation which he has made available through his only
begotten Son, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ).
To keep His commandments needs little if any
explanation. It simply means to obey Yahweh's law (Exodus 20). Obedience is in
fact an expression of faith, the fruit of faith, the only reliable manifestation
of true love to God. In other words, believers who love the Almighty should seek
to obey His commandments, because faith without obedience is dead (1 John 5:1-3,
James 2:17-26). All those who fear Yahweh and keep His commandments will most
certainly escape His wrath -
the seven last plagues. Let the reader pause and note these vital facts.
THE GREAT HARLOT
Rev.17: 1: And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2: With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3: So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4: And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
The identity of the Great Whore has been the
subject of speculation for centuries. And even though the various church groups
differ as to who she is, almost all agree that she represents a religious
system or organisation of some kind which has prostituted itself for the
sake of popularity, power or gain. But what kind of a religious organisation -
human or angelic? That is the question.
A clue to the answer is given in the text itself. She bears the name of a city, Babylon the Great, which is a mighty metropolis of evil situated on the Great River Euphrates above. This city:
1) Governs all the nations of the world.
18: And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17:18)
2) She has already spiritually seduced and corrupted all mankind.
For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Rev. 18:3)
3) Her economic policies have been adopted by the leading businessmen of the whole world.
for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.. (Rev. 18:23)
4) Within her gates lies the guilt of every murder ever committed in the annals of human history.
And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. (Rev. 18: 24)
Let the reader pause and consider those four
stunning facts, because they mean that Babylon the Great is an
inter-galactic metropolis of awesome authority which is currently ruling over all
the governments of the earth; a city whose main objectives are to usurp the
authority of the Almighty, abolish His laws and wherever possible annihilate the
prophets and saints who remain faithful to him. In short, the Great Harlot
symbolises a spiritual city on high -
the epicentre of the Kingdom of Satan -
a city which is the implacable opponent of the Heavenly Jerusalem itself.
The daughters of the Great Harlot are her earthly offspring, the religious organisations of men, which have also prostituted themselves for the sake of popularity, power and gain. Like their fallen mother they too have set aside the commandments of Yahweh and have adulterated His truth with errors to numerous to mention. Over and over again they have degraded themselves with Satan and their guilt has now mounted up to the heavens. More details concerning this Harlot and her prostitute daughters can be found in the SBS article The Great Whore.
This, then, is the overview of the world in which we live: a world of mystifying extremes, of order on the one hand of confusion on the other, of righteousness and sin, of love and hate, life and death. Oh how few people even suspect that behind the scenes there are those two super-cities above - Jerusalem the Golden, the mother of the believing church (Galatians 4:26), the heavenly home-base of all the saints who have ever lived: and Babylon the Great, the implacable opponent of everything holy, just and true.
Of the Heavenly Jerusalem the Scriptures have a great deal to say. Here is just one beautiful passage about her.
Psalm 87: 6: The LORD shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah. 7: As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
Galatians 4:26: But Jerusalem which is above
is free, which is the mother of us all.
THE FALL OF BABYLON THE GREAT
Rev.18: 18: And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city! 19: And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. 20: Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 21: And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22: And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23: And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24: And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
According to this passage and from others in the
Scriptures the collapse of Babylon the Great is absolutely guaranteed.
Indeed, it is so certain to occur that the Almighty especially ordered a
miniature version of the event to take place on earth thousands of years ago in
the fertile plains of Mesopotamia. The inspired records of the prophets tell us
in great detail how ancient Babylon was defeated on the very night its kings and
courtiers were honouring their idols in blasphemous defiance of the God of
Heaven (Daniel 5).
On the orders of the Eternal, the earthly Babylon, which as we have pointed out was merely a model of the spiritual metropolis above, was literally demolished as a fearsome forecast to the entire angelic host of what was in store for the Great Harlot above. Consequently, to properly appreciate what is scheduled to occur throughout the mighty universe in the near future, the reader is strongly advised to study the fall of the ancient Babylon as recorded in the Old Testament (Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51). On doing this he/she will quickly see how certain is the collapse of Babylon the Great. When that spiritual capital's collapse occurs this shout of triumph will reverberate across the mighty universe.
Rev.19: 1: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2: For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3: And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4: And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5: And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
The fall of Babylon the Great will have
immediate repercussions throughout the universe. On earth an economic crash of
unparalleled proportions will occur, which will permanently cripple thousands of
business enterprises the world over. International trade, which we all know is
motivated mainly by greed rather than anything noble, will come to a standstill
as though smitten by a massive stroke; and many shops, banks, factories and
business corporations around the world will shut down.
The whole of Revelation 18 is given over to describing the trade and economic side-effects of Babylon's fall. Strange as it may seem, the Revelation clearly indicates that mankind is not only going to share in a small way Babylon's punishment and collapse, but is also going to eye-witness the event itself. Just as human eyes will be permitted to actually see the throne of the living God at the 6th Seal (Rev. 6:16-17) so too at Babylon's fall millions of human beings will actually stand aghast as they see that evil super-city above going up in smoke.
Rev.18: 9: And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10: Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Then, in a frenzy of awareness, men and woman will realise how terribly deceived they have been in religious matters: how easily the Harlot and her promiscuous earthly daughters had inveigled them into accepting as truth the dubious doctrines of devils. Mankind will then turn in rage on all the religious organisations of men - Christian or otherwise - and will literally tear them to pieces.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (Rev.17:16)
Goaded on by the Beast, whose deadly dictatorship at
that time will be universally accepted, men will abandon themselves to the
service of the Man of Sin. It will, indeed, be a Time of Trouble
such as never was since there was a nation. But, and this is the most wondrous
part of it all, Yahweh's true church, the ekklesia
the sealed commandment-keeping servants of the Most High -
will be saved out of it. During that awesome period the sealed church,
symbolised by the pure woman in Revelation chapter 12, will be safe in the
wilderness of the nations out of the Devil's reach (Rev. 12:13-16, Ezekiel
20:33-37) See SBS article entitled The Coming Exodus.
In the unseen spirit realms above and on the earth
below there will be total confusion and chaos at Babylon's fall. But at that
time Yahweh's followers throughout the universe, especially those on earth, will
rejoice with joy unspeakable. For they will have a measure of peace and
protection which no demon will be able to disturb.
Isn't that good news? We think it is. Indeed were it not for those encouraging passages in the prophecy which tell of pardon, peace and protection for those who trust and obey the Almighty, the Revelation would terrify the bravest heart and produce panic in the mind of every believer who read it. It is precisely for this reason that the Stewarton Bible School has put out this booklet, that believers the world over may begin to study the Revelation, understand its symbolism and pay special heed to those inspired passages which indicate that obedience is a vital pre-requisite to protection. For, believe it or not, divine protection is conditional; and the main condition believers must meet to qualify for protection is to add to their faith - obedience.
Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. (Rev. 1:3)
The Almighty God of Israel wants His followers to understand
the revelation, to wake up and prepare for the cataclysmic events scheduled
to engulf mankind in the near future. But far more than this, He wants them to
demonstrate their faith in Him by obeying His law. Do you have the will to do
that? We hope you do, because if you do not you will be overwhelmed by the
troubles which have already begun and are escalating out of control all over the
THE FINAL SCENES
The final scenes of this age will be swift and decisive. The Antichrist will have by that time completely established his authority over mankind and to a certain extent life on earth will have regained a semblance of normality. The whole kaleidoscope of religious opinion, however, with its multiple shades of Pagan and Christian interpretation, will have gone. Instead, the Beast alone will be revered by the vast majority of earth's population as God On Earth! All the world, with the exception of Yahweh's church, will in that day worship and obey the Man of Sin - the Lawless One.
2 Thess.2:3: Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4: Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
When Yeshua (Jesus) finally returns to earth, as he repeatedly promised he would (Matt. 24, John 14:1-3) the Beast will convince mankind that the Saviour's approach is an invasion from outer space, an alien attack to be repulsed. The peoples of this world, already programmed to the idea of space invaders and inter-galactic wars, will rally to the Beast's call and strongly resist the returning Son of God. The outcome of their short, sharp encounter with Jesus Christ is pictured in these telling words:
Rev.19: 11: And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12: His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13: And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14: And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15: And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17: And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18: That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20: And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21: And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
It is not necessary to write at length about the
Beast's crushing defeat by the Son of God. Suffice to say that it will be swift,
total and eternal in its effect. The Antichrist, we are told, will be
incinerated in a lake of fire, a prospect too terrible to imagine.
THE MILLENNIAL REIGN
At the Beast's death in the lake of fire, Yeshua's millennial (1000 years) reign will begin. The millennial reign is a Reign of Peace, a Reign of Rest and a Reign of Righteousness. It is to mankind's past six thousand years of toil, trial and terror what the Sabbath day is to the working week, a day of regeneration, refreshment and renewal; a day of harmony, health and happiness; a day of worship and thanksgiving. When the millennial reign begins humanity will witness a breathtaking transformation in every department of life. There will be complete reversal of all the evil trends and abuses that have been for ages accepted as normal. During the millennium, the Messiah's authority will extend from shore to shore and all the nations of the world will be speedily brought into line with his requirements. The Scriptures abound with prophecies about the Messiah's Reign over all nations. Indeed, this is one reason why ancient Israel's leaders failed to accept him at his first coming. They were expecting a conquering monarch who would throw off the Roman yoke and lead Israel to victory over all nations. They did not expect a dying Lamb who called for self-sacrifice and holiness of heart. But for all that, the prophecies of the Messiah's world-wide reign will still be fulfilled during the millennium. Here is a short list of the events that will take place at that time.
1. At the Messiah's return the first general resurrection will occur, a resurrection at which millions of believers will rise from their graves to meet the returning king. (1 Thess. 4:16-17, Rev. 20:4-6)
2. Then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and he will begin to exert the authority over mankind which he has already received from his Father. (Psalm 2, Psalm 98, Daniel 2:43-44, Zechariah 14, Matthew 28:18)
3. Special positions of authority will also be granted to certain believers in that day to govern the nations under the leadership of the Messiah. Foremost amongst them will be those who are martyred for refusing to accept the Mark of the Beast. (Luke 19:11-27, Rev. 2:26-27, Rev. 20:4-6)
4. During the millennium Satan will be completely immobilised in the Abyss, that bottomless black-hole where the Beast was formerly imprisoned. (Rev. 20:1-3 Rev. 9)
5. Yahweh's law, the sacred specifications of His lifestyle, the eternal constitution of the universe will then be proclaimed to all the nations of the world and will be administered by officials of the Kingdom with telling effect. Sin will be subdued and righteousness will flourish as never before. Then at last mankind will rest; mankind will rejoice with joy unspeakable; mankind will be full of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 2:1-5, Isaiah 51: 1-11)
6. The earth itself will blossom as the garden of God and even the barren wilderness will bring forth fruit. There will be no more food shortages, no famine and no more freak weather conditions. All nature will be at rest and a spiritual calm will settle upon the human race the like of which has never been seen before. (Isaiah 35)
7. During the millennium the Festivals of Yahweh, those sacred memorials of His greatest acts in the Programme of Salvation, will be observed by all the nations of the world. This amazing fact is amply proved in the prophecy of Zechariah, where we find a whole section (chapter 14) devoted to the keeping of the Feast of Tabernacles during the Messiah's millennial reign. Oh yes, God's signature will be upon all mankind in that glorious age of peace.
In a sentence, the Messiah's millennial reign will
be a day of rest and gladness, a day of health and holiness, a day of peace and
prosperity for all mankind. Is it any wonder that even the Almighty is looking
forward to it?
At the end of the millennium three notable events will occur.
1) Satan will be loosed from the Abyss for a very short period. He will come out unchanged from that spirit-penitentiary; that is, he will be totally unrepentant of his monstrous crimes and still fully convinced that his life-style is superior to Jehovah's and his form of government more to be desired.
2) The second general resurrection will occur and all those billions of unbelieving souls who were not resurrected at the Messiah's return to earth will rise from their graves. Their numbers will be as the sands of the sea.
3) Strange as it may seem, the vast majority of this newly resurrected host will again succumb to the deceptions of Satan and will even side with him in an all-out attack on the city of Jerusalem, vainly imagining that their superiority in numbers over the saints would somehow guarantee victory. The ensuing battle will end in a holocaust - a lake of fire - an incinerating slaughter so permanent that rebellion against the Almighty will never again raise its ugly head. The lake of fire, which totally annihilates the unbelieving host, is referred to in the Revelation as the second death. There is no resurrection from the second death.
The above three events are specified in the Revelation in these words.
Rev.20: 7: And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8: And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10: And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 11: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13: And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
THE NEW EARTH
The Bible tells us that after the millennium Yahweh will create a new universe. We shall witness Him doing this and never again will mankind doubt the Almighty's ability to create.
Rev.21: 1: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2: And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3: And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
No one will doubt but that the Revelation tells of
disasters on a scale quite impossible to imagine; of wars, famines and pestilence
involving all humanity; of persecutions and other spiritual pressures geared to
exhaust the bravest heart; of deception so subtle that only a few believers will
detect them; of sin so blatant that multitudes of believers will abandon
righteousness and return to their sins. But, and let us pause here to praise
Yahweh the Almighty God of Israel for this fact, the Revelation does not end
on a note of despair and doom. The above passage about the creation of a new
universe is proof of it. Indeed the whole of chapters 21 and 22 are additional
proof. This old universe, battered and scarred as it is through sin, is going to
be renewed at the end of the millennium -
the Day of the LORD! (2 Peter 3:10-13)
The new earth will be the absolute masterpiece of
creation, a sanctuary of happiness and peace far beyond anything anyone can
imagine. On the new earth there will be no suffering, no sickness, no sorrow, no
pain and no death. What's more, the Creator has promised to make all things
new, (Rev. 21:5) a promise so encompassing that one could spend hours musing
The final passages of the Revelation tell of the New Jerusalem, the capital city of the new universe. Its glories, symbolically described in chapters 21 and 22, are as numerous as the saints who will one day walk in its magnificent streets. And, believe it or not, it is to this eternal paradise of God that you dear reader are being invited. If you have not already accepted the Saviour's offer of salvation, then here in the Revelation is an invitation which includes you. After reading this invitation pause awhile and let its infinite worth sink into your mind. Think about it, believe it and accept it for yourself. Above all, act upon it, for failure to do so would be a mistake too tragic to tell.
Rev.21: 6: And he said unto me, It is done. I am
Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is
athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7: He that overcometh shall
inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8: But
the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part
in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Rev.22: 12: And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 16: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. 17: And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
For many centuries the declarations of Jehovah by
the mouth of His prophets have been treated by unbelievers with a measure of
bemused contempt bordering on blasphemy. The Holy Scriptures, published in
hundreds of languages at enormous cost to the saints, have been generally set
aside by the masses in preference for a diet of fiction, much of which is too
degrading to even consider. But, and here is a truth so profound that it cannot
be repeated too often, the Scriptures must be fulfilled. (Luke
21:22) This means that the predictions of the Almighty will come to pass, they
will happen, no matter whether people believe them or not. Politicians may
prattle, priests and parsons may preach, monthly prognosticators may pretend,
but this Himalayan fact becomes increasingly clear every day -
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes all over the earth.
Therefore, to really benefit from this study of the
Revelation we will advise the reader to do three things: Compare, Examine and
FIRST: Compare world events with Bible
prophecy. Take special note of what the news bulletins and papers say and see
for yourself how astonishingly accurate the Holy Scriptures are. In particular
check world events against the messages of the Seven Seals and do not be slow to
recognise the fact that the Revelation is exactly what it claims to be -
a divine disclosure of mankind's future.
SECOND: Examine those passages in Bible prophecy which warn of Satan's many counterfeits which are designed especially to delude mankind, and especially the Christian church, into rejecting the Almighty's Truth.
Thoroughly investigate the truth about the Sign or
Signature of Yahweh the God of Israel. Also learn to recognise the signature of
Satan, the Mark of the Beast. Carefully study all the references
quoted in this booklet and do not allow others to detract you from the Truth,
because your eternal salvation could be jeopardised if you do.
THIRD: Obey the Almighty's commandments. Yes, add to your faith - obedience, before it is eternally too late. The Revelation, as you can see, is Yahweh's final warning message to this rebellious world. It is a divine call to obedience and it specifies the only route believers may take to escape the terrors of Abaddon. Be quick to take that route, for the crisis at the close of this age has already begun!
The simple explanation of where we are at in the timeline of revelation and what is yet to come:
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for transition into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. We are living in the time of the investigative judgment now. We are being judged on how we keep God's Sabbaths, how we witness to others and spread God's word, and how we keep his commandments. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Coming. You must accept Christ's Salvation, do your witnessing to others, get baptized and keep the commandments NOW if you want to go to heaven when Christ comes THEN. Waiting until you see him in the sky and then begging for mercy will be too late; probation period is CLOSED at that time. There is much belief that God's seal or mark on us (which we need to get through the terrible tribulation and wrath coming up - See Rev 7 on) is us keeping Saturday as our Sabbath instead of Sunday, meaning do not work on Saturday and use Saturday as your day of worship; as well as celebrating God's seven Feast Days as his annual Sabbaths instead of the pagan celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Ash Wednesday, Halloween, etc. which are considered the mark of the beast along with Sunday worship as the Sabbath. See www.detailshere.com/feastdays.htm for God's days to celebrate. Keeping the Sabbaths is a VERY serious issue with God and most Christians have not bothered to investigate how the celebrations they THINK are Christian related came about as a result of Satan's handiwork of mixing pagan gods,customs, idols, traditions and beliefs in with a bit of Christianity as he polluted the churches along history's path.
The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. It will not be sneaky and quiet. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times.
The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord (the rapture for the living). The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later.
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ, with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth - this event may be considered "hell" as they are consumed in a lake of fire or at least have a fiery termination. The punishment of the unrighteous is total, permanent, termination by fire; not a forever and ever torment of burning. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever.
On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever.
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